I was there last night, at the Charleston rally for Bernie Sanders. His throat was raw from the schedule he's been on, but after a few minutes he got his voice back. He is pure momentum, determined to tell us unequivocally where he stands. And as far as I have been able to tell, he stands for what is right for democracy and for the American people on every issue.
His arguments are clear. Unchecked greed has fueled the hate and divisiveness that has caused the hard-working middle class to turn against itself. That fraction of a percent that owns this country has kept us focused on all the ways we are different from each other and makes sure that we feel threatened by those differences. It works, because while we are fighting about race, abortion and sexuality, our rights are being stolen out from under us. Our right to privacy, our right to health care, education and a living wage, our right to feel safe on the streets -- all being undermined so that the powerful can continue to control us. It happened in Nazi Germany, hate and jealousy allowing a maniac total control.
Well, the crowd last night was energized. Each person was not there just for their own interest, but for all of us. It was more like what I once thought our country could be than I have seen in some time. When I left, my heart was full.
As I left, I passed a couple of booths between the doors and the parking lot. One sign said something to the effect of, "some things you should know about socialists." A woman at the other booth asked me if I wanted a copy of The Militant. At first I thought these were right-wingers attempting to rile up the crowd. But it seems they were proponents of radical socialism.
In Charleston as well as across the nation, Black Lives Matter is an important group that hopefully will not let us forget that racism is alive and well and needs to be confronted. As many times as it takes.
I hope that the activists, socialists, African Americans, and all the others, keep fighting for those whose rights are being denied, who live in fear and poverty, who are treated as though they are not real American citizens. I hope that they fight the right battles, and oppose the real enemies. While the riots of the 1968 Democratic Convention had legitimate purpose, it resulted in Richard Nixon in the White House. We can't afford that, with Donald Trump and the rest of the republican line-up appealing to all those who have been fed hatred and fear since the shock of 9-11.
For those who care to know, socialism is neither communism nor fascism. For others, they have been taught to respond to the word as though it is the ultimate evil. People who are beginning to listen to Bernie Sanders with some interest should not be hit on the head with The Militant or facts about socialism. And African-Americans should know that Bernie is about leveling the playing field for us all, and of course within that goal black lives will matter because they have been affected by hate more than most others of us.
So this is indeed an opportunity to be heard. But it is also an opportunity to reach out to those who have been manipulated and isolated by the right-wing. Bernie Sanders sees an America where the middle class works together instead of against each other, and where that middle class understands that helping those that are struggling will make all lives better.